I remember watching him stare at the canvas, a Marlboro Light 100 dangling from his white bearded mouth and the debris of extinguished tobacco fighting gravity, seconds from becoming accidental pigment. We were usually listening to Petty, or during one phase, recycling the Who’s 1981 “Face Dances” waiting for the magic that never happened. The band redeemed themselves with “It’s Hard” a couple years later, but by then I’d moved back home. While “Krak” created incredible, enduring images, I consumed his Forbes magazines and became indoctrinated to Malcolm Forbes style capitalism.
A 1985 road trip to the Southwest provided a brief reunion and a satisfying Mexican meal with he and Dillard at a bowling alley in Albuquerque, NM, but I hadn’t seen or heard from Tom Graham “Kraker” since.
Until Facebook.
Now Mr. Graham is a teacher and my tormenter. An intellectual conservative. An oxymoron perhaps, but not a Palin loving moron. He’s a real conservative. A William F. Buckley conservative. He makes me think. Always did. Tonight he commented on a post I wrote: “You have a gift. I felt like it happened to me. Still waiting for a book from you!”
With encouragement like that, maybe you’ll get one.